There are two or three great characters in these books - Tyrian the Imp for example - but the brief contacts we have with them are interposed with swathes of long winded faux medieval pageantry of one kind or another.
Remember "Sir Brentin Waythorpe of house Moon" ? No, well don't worry because even though we'll spend a few paragraphs describing his flags, mail and family tree, he'll have no role in the story and will never be heard of again. It's as if you've paused a scene in a movie and got someone to describe all the extras in massive detail. At times this feels like the kind of literature you should buy by the kilogram, not the book!
The other big problem I personally have is the constant brutality dished out by the many random "Sir Knights" - A three year old has "his face smashed in by a morning star" before a similar fate meets his wailing mother. This delightful interlude adds NOTHING to the plot or character of those involved - we already know they're treasonous adulterous baddies! The book is flush with these little treats, often involving children, and it is not an educational publication about the horrors of war, it's an airport fantasy novel.
Everyone who is not a "high born" character is voiced as a semi retarded yokel - this gets really jarring after a very short time.
Only if you've got a really long flight and don't mind a lot of meaningless brutality thrown in with your fantasy fluff.
For the Pratchett fan - especially the City Watch books - this is another great story. It's the second Nigel Planer narration I've heard and I'm just not a huge fan. He's fine, but he's not Stephen Briggs and he has a tendency to voice many of his characters in a way that makes them sound a bit slow and dim witted.
I must endorse the comments of a previous reviewer that the production quality is truly awful - terrible sound quality and frequent jump cuts / continuity errors. It's bad enough I think Audible should clean it up or put it on permanent deep discount.
I'm obviously behind the times, but have just discovered Jo Nesbo. Beautifully written, really well plotted and excellent character development. It's Norwegian setting and general tone make comparison with Steig Larson inevitable - not as original a series as the Millennium trilogy, but overall perhaps a better edited one ?
Sean Barrett' narration is superb. The delivery of different characters is subtle and consistent throughout the recording.
No negatives really - buy it.
I enjoy some good old airport fiction as much as the next person, but there is a limit. The characters are one dimensional - which is fine - the plot however is tissue paper thin, and this is a problem for a book that is entirely plot driven!
We stumble from one poorly realised "revelation" to another under an avalanche of portentous prose that completely fails to deliver anything like excitement or tension.
The narrator does an heroic job, but there are only so many times you can say "the ancient mysteries" and "the wisdom of the ages" before you sound like you're taking the mick. So run don't walk and look elsewhere!
This is an enjoyable read, and the narrator is fantastic.
The book is charmingly Scandinavian - lots of snow, endless coffee, and liberal socialist attitudes - but boy could it do with some decent editorial input! The pointless back stories about completely irrelevant characters, the family trees tediously detailed... there would have been a lot of skimming in hard copy.
Fantastic novel from a master of the genre. Read this book many years ago, and great to revisit it now. The opposite of a "space opera" this is real ideas/concepts based sci-fi - the characters are entirely dispensable!
A measure of the quality of the story is its four star rating despite the terrible narration. Imagine someone impersonating Mr Sulu (George Takai (sp?) ) and you've got it - then imagine that person putting on an Australian accent for the protagonist - what were they thinking!!
If you can handle Mr Sulu, buy it ASAP...
A shocker. Paint by numbers fantasy characters and possibly the worst reading I've heard on audible. The cringeworthy voices of female characters makes me shudder just recalling it.
I'll be giving the next volumes a wide berth.
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